Kerala

NHRC transfers plaints on burials by Jacobites to SHRC

Church faction seeks government intervention

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has transferred a set of cases by the Jacobite faction on the issue of burial of the dead in the Malankara Church to the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) so that the State commission can take decisions on the complaints to provide immediate relief to the aggrieved parties.

“It is not possible for the NHRC to decide the matter on a day-to-day basis from Delhi,” said an order transferring the cases.

Earlier order

The NHRC order also makes it clear that the Kerala commission can take decisions without infringing on any earlier order, including orders passed by the Supreme Court in the matter in its judgments.

However, if there are no specific directions on burials, the matter should be decided on the basis of respect to the fundamental and customary rights of dead persons and their relatives as per the Constitution, the order said.

The complaints have been transferred to the State commission with all relevant records.

Directive to CS

The NHRC order lists the complaint by Shimi Augustine, who said believers in the Jacobite faction were not being allowed to bury their dead in their church cemeteries or vaults attached to the parish by the Orthodox faction on the ground that the deceased belonged to the Jacobite group. The NHRC asked the State Chief Secretary to furnish a report on the matter.

Another complaint was received from Fr. George John on the same issue. In this case too the State Chief Secretary was asked to look into the matter.

The commission then heard the complainants and representatives of the State and found that if anyone was denied the right to bury their dead it was disrespect to the dead persons and hurt the sentiments of the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, member P. Mohanadas said the State human rights commission had not yet received the order officially from the NHRC and appropriate steps would be taken on receiving the order.

Seeks govt. intervention

Addressing mediapersons outside the Secretariat where the Jacobite faction has been agitating for three days, metropolitan trustee Joseph Mar Gregorios sought the State government’s intervention to resolve the ongoing impasse over funeral rights. “We do not intend to violate the Supreme Court’s judgement (regarding ownership rights of churches). But, we urge the government to implement the direction of the NHRC regarding the right to conduct funerals,” he said.

Metropolitans Geevarghese Mar Coorilos of the Niranom diocese, Mathews Mar Thevodosios of the Kollam diocese and Zacharias Mar Polycarpos of the Malabar diocese were among those who participated in the agitation

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 9:59:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nhrc-transfers-plaints-on-burials-by-jacobites-to-shrc/article29912673.ece

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